Thursday, September 1, 2016

Highway Chicken Curry / Dhaba Style Chicken Curry

During our travel we all have at some point of time halted at a dhaba just beside the highway and dined with their luscious spicy tadka dal, chicken curry or just the veg thali with some rice or tandoori roti. It has happened to us all at some point and we all have loved that experience. Even now when we go to our annual vacation in India, we always go to a dhaba and eat their signature tadka dal and chicken curry and sometimes paneer makhani as well.

how to make Highway Chicken Curry recipe and preparation / Dhaba Style Chicken Curry recipe and preparation with step by step pictures

how to make Highway Chicken Curry recipe and preparation / Dhaba Style Chicken Curry recipe and preparation with step by step pictures

how to make Highway Chicken Curry recipe and preparation / Dhaba Style Chicken Curry recipe and preparation with step by step pictures

how to make Highway Chicken Curry recipe and preparation / Dhaba Style Chicken Curry recipe and preparation with step by step pictures

Highway Chicken Curry is basically a rustic chicken preparation with whole spices, fiercely hot and spicy, browned thick slow cooked gravy and soft-melt in the mouth juicy morsels of chicken. Every dhaba has their own secret recipe of chicken curry and with state and region the taste changes as well, so you can not settle for just one...which is to say that you can experiment as much as you want until you find the one you prefer most. 

how to make Highway Chicken Curry recipe and preparation / Dhaba Style Chicken Curry recipe and preparation with step by step pictures
Roughly pound the ginger. garlic and green chillies.
how to make Highway Chicken Curry recipe and preparation / Dhaba Style Chicken Curry recipe and preparation with step by step pictures
Heat oil and fry the potatoes until golden from outside.
how to make Highway Chicken Curry recipe and preparation / Dhaba Style Chicken Curry recipe and preparation with step by step pictures
Add the whole spices and then add the grated onions to them.
how to make Highway Chicken Curry recipe and preparation / Dhaba Style Chicken Curry recipe and preparation with step by step pictures
Cook the onions until lightly golden and then add the ginger-garlic-chilli paste. Stir and cook for 2 minutes more.
how to make Highway Chicken Curry recipe and preparation / Dhaba Style Chicken Curry recipe and preparation with step by step pictures
Add the grated tomatoes and cook until oil separates.
how to make Highway Chicken Curry recipe and preparation / Dhaba Style Chicken Curry recipe and preparation with step by step pictures
Add the turmeric powder, red chilli powder and the spice mix.
how to make Highway Chicken Curry recipe and preparation / Dhaba Style Chicken Curry recipe and preparation with step by step pictures
Stir and cook for a minute.
how to make Highway Chicken Curry recipe and preparation / Dhaba Style Chicken Curry recipe and preparation with step by step pictures
Add the chicken pieces and sprinkle salt over them. Stir to cover the chicken pieces well with the spices and the prepared curry.
how to make Highway Chicken Curry recipe and preparation / Dhaba Style Chicken Curry recipe and preparation with step by step pictures
Cover the pot and cook until the moisture evaporates. Then add water and the fried potatoes. Finally cook until the chicken is soft and tender and the gravy is thick with oil floating on top of it. Finish off with a little sprinkle of the preparaed spice mix and the chopped coriander leaves.
But don’t go too fancy with the spices...as the main flavour of this chicken curry is its simplicity with a flair of boldness in the spices. So add a heaped spoon of red chilli powder and a giant load of green chilli paste to make that curry utterly spicy, which is its first requirement and then go hunt down your pantry or simply just follow my instructions.

how to make Highway Chicken Curry recipe and preparation / Dhaba Style Chicken Curry recipe and preparation with step by step pictures

how to make Highway Chicken Curry recipe and preparation / Dhaba Style Chicken Curry recipe and preparation with step by step pictures

Highway Chicken Curry / Dhaba Style Chicken Curry
Serves 4-5

how to make Highway Chicken Curry recipe and preparation / Dhaba Style Chicken Curry recipe and preparation with step by step pictures

Ingredients:
1 kg chicken on bone
2 onions – grates
2-3 ripe plump tomatoes – grated (the skin will come off in the end when you are grating. Discard that skin.)
6-8 garlic cloves
1 inch ginger
4-6 green chillies
1 heaped tbsp red chilli powder
1-2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp of the prepared spice mix (see the recipe below)
1 medium cinnamon stick
2 green cardamoms
2-3 cloves
2 medium bay leaves
A handful of fresh coriander leaves – finely chopped
4 medium potatoes – peeled and halved
Salt
4 tbsp mustard oil

Spice Mix:
1 tsp whole coriander seeds
1 tsp whole cumin seeds
2-3 dry red chillies
1 small black cardamom
1 very small cinnamon stick
4 cloves
1 and ½ tsp whole black peppercorns

Method:
Dry roast the whole spices for a minute and then grind them to make a coarse powder.
In a mortar and pestle roughly pound together the garlic cloves, ginger root and green chillies. Keep aside.
Heat the oil in a pan / kadai and shallow fry the peeled and halved potatoes until they become nicely golden from the outside.
When they are done, take them out of the pan and keep aside.
Add the ghee to the remaining oil.
Let it melt and then add the cinnamon sticks, green cardamoms, cloves and bay leaves.
Sauté them for a minute or until the ghee becomes aromatic and then add the grated onions to them.
Sprinkle some salt over the onions and cook until lightly golden.
Add the pounded ginger-garlic-green chilli paste and cook for 2 minutes or until the raw garlic flavour is reduced.
Add the grated tomatoes and mix them well.
Cook the tomatoes until they are nice and mushy with oil oozing out of the curry.
Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder and 1 tbsp of the prepared spice mix and mix them well.
Stir and cook for a minute allowing the curry to absorb all the spices and then add the chicken pieces.
Mix them nicely so that all the chicken pieces get a good coating of all the spices and curry.
Do not stir and let the chicken cook for 3-5 minutes. Then stir to turn the chicken pieces to their other side and let them cook for another 2-3 minutes. When the chicken pieces are nicely browned on both the sides, cover the pan/ kadai and cook until all the moisture evaporates. Do check and stir every 2-3 minutes, so that nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan.
When the chicken is half cooked, or after 15 minutes, add the fried and kept aside potatoes and mix them well.
When all the moisture evaporates, add 1 and ½ cup of water to the curry and give a good stir to incorporate everything perfectly.
Now cook uncovered until the chicken is cooked and becomes soft and tender from the inside. This will take around 10-15 minutes, depending on the quality of your chicken. If the water dries out during the process add more to continue the cooking.
Once the chicken is done, simmer on medium flame until the curry is thick and the oil has reached the surface.
Taste and adjust the seasonings.
Sprinkle some more of the spice mix and the chopped coriander leaves.

Serve hot with chapatti / plain hot rice.

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